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Roadster on Top Gear

Discussion in 'News' started by malcolm, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    #1 malcolm, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  2. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Excellent. Is it really on at 21:00? If so, that gives me another hour to get back from the Race of Champions at Wembley :smile:.

    I'll make sure there is space on the PVR.
     
  3. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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  4. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    #4 dpeilow, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
    Thanks.

    By the way, it is not the last show in the current series, there is another one to come - but the BBC doesn't put anything more than one week in advance on their site. I expect the last one will be the Vietnam special.

    Top Gear (series 12 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Here's hoping May mocks the Clarity.
     
  6. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Given that in the magazine where the Tesla was reviewed they said something like "The most environmentally friendly of the new wave of cars, greener than the grass it is driving past" (I don't have it with me right now so am paraphrasing a bit), somehow I expect he will be gushing about it.
     
  7. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    #7 dpeilow, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
    If anyone thinks we are going to get an objective review next week, here are two Clarkson quotes from tonight's show:


    "We officially have half the number of lunatics in this country now - figures out this week show electric car sales are half that of last year".


    Boris Johnson (London Mayor) was Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. Clarkson is asking him about green issues.

    Johnson: "The proprietor of your track showed me that wonderful electric car when I was filming my piece. It only has one gear. You are going to have to rename your show Top Plug".

    Clarkson: "Yes Boris, but where does the energy come from".


    Expect long tailpipe bs at the very least.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/topgear/show/next_episode.shtml
     
  8. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Do we know which car they tested? Which drivetrain as well?
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I would bet large piles of cash that Tesla had a 1.5 there, maybe two or three.

    Daryl said they would give them the best possible (or something like that), It's the number one car show on the planet. Why would you do anything else?
     
  10. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I just hope they don't trash it too badly. I have a feeling this is going to be the first time most people ever see a Tesla. First impressions are important.
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I first read the "trash" as "thrash." I hope they totally thrash it! :cool:
     
  12. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    I'm not optimistic that the show's typical run by the Stig will result in a fast lap time by the Roadster. That's a fast track with supercars going in excess of 100 mph in many places on the track. The Roadster just can't continue accelerating well at that speed. I will bet that the time won't be extraordinary.

    The relatively low top speed may be an area where TG will make fun of the Roadster. Isn't TG known for taking pot shots where they can?
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yes, and making up some if they can't.

    Lets hope they don't compare it to the G-wiz, their favorite whipping boy.
     
  14. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #14 vfx, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
    Some info on the Top gear track (from other suspect websites):
    Coordinates are: 51*06'56.14* N 0*32'09.49* W
    Dunsfold Park

    image1795.jpg

    [​IMG]

    start
    up to chicago
    down to hammerhead
    down the followthrough
    up to the tire pile
    bacharach
    gambon
    finish

    Top Gear's [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Crooner Curve
    Away from the line, the first turn you come to is a little kink called Crooner Curve, named in honour of the original Stig's fondness for easy listening music. We had to dig pretty deep in the Top Gear archives to discover the name for particular point on the track - being such a minor change in direction, it rarely warrants a mention. Let's face it, if a car has trouble getting round this bend it's going to end up buried in a tyre wall - also known as "doing a Koenigsegg".

    Willson
    After the amuse-bouche that is Crooner Curve, it's time to tackle the first corner proper - Willson Bend, named after former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson. There's a little bump on the way in that unsettles a bad chassis, as the track starts to sort out the cars that handle from those that flounder.

    Chicago
    Down to second gear, around the tyres and through Chicago - as in the band Chicago, another old Stig favourite. This bit of the track was designed by Lotus and is what its boffins call a 'steady state' corner - it loads up the outside tyres and exposes a front heavy chassis that understeers or a rear-biased one that oversteers. That's why you often see powerful rear-wheel drive cars kicking their tails out on the exit.

    Hammerhead
    This is a tricky and testing corner, named because, erm, it's sort of hammerhead-shaped. Even a slow car can be nudging 90mph by the time it arrives here, so it's hard on the brakes, down to second gear, chuck it left and then flick it right. In the wrong car, this can prompt horrible understeer and a scary moment for the camera crew stationed on the outside of the bend. Overkeen drivers will get back on the throttle too early on the way out, whereas the Stig - being a supremely skilled - knows you have to feed in the power gently to make a neat getaway and then really hammer it as the exit opens up.

    Follow Through
    The fastest and scariest corner on the track, Follow-Through is so called because it's meant to be flat out and also because of the effect it can have on your undercrackers. Even the Stig, a man who knows no fear, will momentarily lift off through here in a powerful car. This is where he lost it in the Koenigsegg somewhere north of 120mph. Shortly afterwards, we suggested the car was fitted with a rear spoiler. Sensibly, Koenigsegg agreed.

    Bentley Bend
    The jink left at the end of Follow-Through, Bentley Bend is named not after the British luxury car maker but as a tribute to former Top Gear producer Jon Bentley, who now makes a living popping up on Channel Five and explaining things. Keep the throttle buried here, blast through the tyre wall - if you're really fast, you'll make the remote camera on the tyres wobble - and clip the kerb on the way through.

    Bacharach
    Now more commonly known as 'the second-to-last corner', this was originally named as a tribute to another one-time Stig favourite, Burt Bacharach. It's a tricky one because you come blasting down the main runway and have to lean hard on the brakes and make the turn in a move Clarkson describes as "like threading a needle". Little wonder this is the most common place for the stars in our reasonably priced cars to lose it, usually because they turn in too fast and the car spins out on the grass. Then on the next lap they get scared and attempt it at 5mph, ruining their time. Dah! The Stig on the other hand, nails it to perfection and clips the grass at the apex to boot.

    Gambon
    This corner was originally called Carpenters - yes, another reference to old Stig's musical preferences - but when legendary actor all-round splendid chap Sir Michael Gambon almost flipped our old Liana here, it was the least we could do to rename it in his honour.

    History

    The Top Gear test track, built on the main runway and taxiways of Dunsfold Aerodrome in south-east England, is designed to test cars to their very limits. It includes a range of corners, from the slow technically challenging Hammerhead to the fast and terrifying Follow-Through, to expose any weakness in a car's chassis. It's also a mechanically punishing track and many a big-name supercar has been carted away from it with tyres, clutch and brakes in a state of meltdown. A car has to be fit as well as fast if it wants to go above Hammond's reach on the Top Gear power lap board.

    The track is also home to Top Gear's tame racing driver, the Stig. Some say he's morbidly afraid of cats and can actually smell corners. All we know is he's faster around the test track than any other driver alive. We've even bussed in a gaggle of Formula 1 legends, including Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and ex-world champions Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, to try and beat his time. So far, all have failed.

    Some corners, Like Wilson and Gambon, are naturally dictated by the shape of the airfield, although they're pretty demanding all the same. Others, like Chicago and Hammerhead, were created from scratch on the blank canvas of Dunsfold's tarmac. Chicago is particularly interesting because we asked the brainiacs from Lotus to design us the kind of corner that would test handling. The eggheads did us proud. It might not look tricky, but just watch how less competent cars slither into understeer or twitch into oversteer as they power through. That's even with the superhuman driving skills of the Stig.

    The genuinely scary Bentley Bend is probably the test track's signature turn. Most cars come through here flat out, grazing the tyre wall and shaking the remote camera with a wall of displaced air. The shot we get by plonking a little camera on top of the tyres never fails to get a gasp from the audience when we show the lap in the studio.

    People often ask why we don't run races or have track days. The simple answer is we can't because a figure of eight and sooner or later the whole thing would turn into a massive pile-up. However, occasionally we film more than one car running around the lesser known 'short circuit', which takes in the top half of the eight and still manages to include the challenges to Chicago and Hammerhead.

    Over the years, the track has become more dog-eared and weathered, like a pair of old shoes. Some of the marker boards bear the scars of over exuberant celebrities smacking into them with our Liana and Lacetti, the apexes of Bentley and Bacharach are worn back where the Stig has battered them with his perfect racing lines and the start/finish line is getting a bit faded. But we rather like it like that.
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #15 vfx, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #16 vfx, Dec 7, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
    Ok this site Fastest Lap has some more info. Speeds are listed but it's not clear if the speed is fastest achieved or an average. I also filtered so just rear wheel cars are listed.

    It's tight. Would the Roadster make top 20? Top 40? Top 60? Look at the 3 different Lotus times.
     
  17. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Thanks for looking up the track info. :smile:
     
  18. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    Alright, step right up and submit your guesses for the lap time!

    I'm in for 1:26.1 (dry conditions, add 2 seconds if wet).

    I hope I'm high but I think that may still be a bit low. The tail happy handling with the pendulum weight in the back will hamper the high speed corning. Mid range acceleration will be excellent, but I think that course will punish the Roadster's lesser high speed power.
     
  19. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    The Roadster will always be in the right gear since there are no gears, allowing him (or her, remember, it's the Stig) to focus on driving the car as best as possible. Also, coming towards/out of turns and towards/out of quick stops, racers sometimes have to compromise when/where they switch gears.

    The folks from ProEV (some very qualified people, just check out proev.com) told me many autocross racers just keep their car in only one gear, switching gears maybe just once, because it's not worth the time/effort it takes to switch gears with an autocross full of turns. Obviously, always being in the wrong gear gives EVs an advantage.

    The Top Gear track doesn't look as twisty as an autocross course, but it's fairly twisty, so the Tesla should have an edge.
     
  20. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Just as a matter of comparison: the Stig was able to get a time of 1:35 for the current Elise. I *think* the Ariel Atom was about 1:19. The Roadster should be somewhere in between. Tesla Dave's guess of 1:26 seems pretty good to me.
     

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